The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kasparov forces draw

New York: Chess legend Garri Kasparov played a deliberately unconventional defence with the black pieces to force a draw with the supercomputer Deep Junior and keep their series level with two matches to play.

In a bid to confuse his number-crunching rival, Kasparov, 39, Sunday opted for a highly unusual knight manoeuvre on move eight to force Deep Junior to abandon the logic of its own programme and “improvise” its strategy.

Using a “hedgehog” formation with his pawns in a line across the middle of the board, Kasparov successfully neutralised the computer’s advantage of playing white and ground out a draw in 61 moves.

“I think I made a brilliant move to get Deep Junior out of book and make it think on its own,” the Azerbaijan-born Grandmaster said afterwards. “If you play aggressive chess and throw in a little twist you can get great positions against the strongest computer programmes,” he added.

The six-game, man-versus-machine series now stands level after four matches, with Kasparov having won the first showdown and Deep Junior taking the third. Game two was also a draw.

Insisting that the loss in the third game was the result of an error on his part, the former world champion said he was confident of taking the series by winning game five with the white pieces and then either winning or drawing game six.

“In games one and three, the computer has shown it has great problems with the black pieces,” he said.

Kasparov, who is still the number-one-ranked player in the world, is being paid a huge amount for taking part in the tournament. The match-winner takes $ 300,000 and the loser gets $200,000. If the match is a draw, each side gets $250,000.

Kasparov is still smarting from his 1997 defeat in a series of matches in Philadelphia against an IBM supercomputer known as Deep Blue. The Israeli-made Deep Junior is capable of calculating three million moves per second. (AFP)

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